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Vanellope von Schweetz is the deuteragonist of Disney's 2012 animated feature film Wreck-It Ralph. She is the true ruler of Sugar Rush who has been turned into a glitch.

Background

Vanellope von Schweetz was the main character of the video game Sugar Rush. Not only was she the lead character, she was also the in-game world's princess. However, at some point prior to the start of the film, an old racing video game character named Turbo, hijacked Sugar Rush, turned himself into a character named King Candy, and tried to delete Vanellope's code (but couldn't), turning her into a glitch instead. Once Vanellope became a glitch, King Candy was free to rule the kingdom, having all the inhabitants of Sugar Rush's memories of Princess Vanellope locked away. However, if Vanellope was to ever cross the finish line in an official race, her code will be restored and the throne will be hers once more. To prevent this from occurring, King Candy, with the help of his minion, and Vanellope's former assistant, Sour Bill, had the citizens of the game believe having a glitch race could lead to the game being unplugged. Due to this lie, Vanellope was repeatedly tormented and ostracized by the game's citizens, most notably the racers, led by Taffyta Muttonfudge. Vanellope was able to find sanctuary within Diet Cola Mountain, a volcano that towers over the land of Sugar Rush that also homes an unfinished bonus track.

As a result of her being a glitch, Vanellope was unable to leave the game and escape her tormentors. However, she also gained the unique ability to glitch, or teleport, from place to place in the blink of an eye, though she didn't have much control over it, and it sometimes hindered her efforts to get into races.

Physical Appearance

Vanellope is a 9-year old girl whose overall appearance is often described as adorable, even by Ralph himself. Being a child, she is short in stature and has long raven-black hair with candy sprinkled over it. She has fair skin and hazel eyes that are rather large with an Anime influence and also carries a slender body. She noticeably has an overbite, as well as a small pink chipmunk-like nose, as do most of the Sugar Rush racers. She also possesses rosy cheeks, giant ears, and thick black eyebrows. As said before, Vanellope's design, as well as the other Sugar Rush racers, were inspired by Japanese/Anime influences, notably by the art style of Chibi. Similar to how the other leads in the movie have their faces based off their voice actors, Vanellope's face and hair are designed to make her look like a kidified version of Sarah Silverman.

Vanellope's signature "glitch" outfit is a mint green hoodie with a double-layered brown skirt that resembles the wrapping of a peanut-butter cup (many of the girls have skirts like this), green, white and purple leggings, and small black boots. It is notable that her leggings are mismatched, one covered in broad mint green bands, the other in thinner mint bands and purple lines. They are designed to resemble candy cane stripes. Her hoodie laces and stitches are red and resemble licorice candies, such as Twizzlers. Underneath her hoodie is a violet shirt, it's only seen in a "blink and you'll miss it" scene in the video game's last cut scene. Her high ponytail is also tied with a Twizzler. The pink squiggles under Vanellope's boots resemble icing. Vanellope also owns red racing goggles that were seen during the Random Roster Race's coin depositing.

On the side of the Sugar Rush game cabinet, Vanellope can be seen in her royal racing attire which is a teal, orange, and white jumpsuit with brown gloves. In the film's concept art, Vanellope's racing attire comes with a white helmet with a golden crown design detailed onto it.

As a princess, Vanellope wore a full skirted glittery long-sleeved gown with lacy white gloves. Her gradient pink petticoat is noticeably covered in pink, white and red gumdrops, sprinkled everywhere like beads. However, chocolate sprinkles can be seen on the lower end of the petticoat. The skirt has many layers and opens in the front to show a deep pink underskirt. Her gown was also given a pink, flowing cloak, and a large, high, white lace heart collar, resembling Elizabethan royal attire. The collar is edged in a cut-out pattern of candy canes and lollipops, and in addition she wears another, somewhat smaller, white ruffled collar. In this outfit, Vanellope's hair is up in a bun instead of a high ponytail, and is covered in sprinkles that are various shades of pink. She also wore a red tiara. With the outfit, Vanellope also owns a pink lollipop scepter with a noticeable crown symbol over it. Although she dislikes it, she wore it at Calhoun and Felix's wedding as her maid of honor outfit.

Appearances

Wreck-It Ralph

Meeting Ralph

Once upon a normal day, Vanellope is lounging about in the candy tree forest when she encounters a hulk-like man named Wreck-It Ralph, who claims to be part of the "candy tree department" and was doing some "candy tree trimming". However, the minute Vanellope notices a "gold coin" atop the tree, she becomes very excited and makes way for it, ignoring Ralph, who confesses to Vanellope, telling her that he is from a different game and desperately needs the medal that she has mistaken for a gold coin. After "winning" the coin from Ralph and taking it for herself, Vanellope instead runs off to the race track starting line, where the racers of Sugar Rush are prepared to pay their fees (one gold coin) to race in the Random Roster Race: a daily race that determines which racers will be featured in the game's roster on the following day. Vanellope disguises herself and sneaks into the lineup to insert the medal for her coin, putting herself in the race officially.

A Glitch

Unfortunately for Vanellope, she is a glitch, and glitches are not allowed to race by orders of the Sugar Rush ruler, King Candy. The moment the king notices the glitch, he orders his security guards, Wynchel and Duncan, to arrest her, but then Ralph (covered in taffy and other candy) arrives to reclaim his medal. The scene that follows distracts the king and his guards, allowing Vanellope to escape, and the excited 9 year old heads to the junkyard with her junky homemade kart. Vanellope is then confronted by Taffyta Muttonfudge (the best racer in the game, next to King Candy), Candlehead, Rancis Fluggerbutter and the other racing kids. They torment the girl, calling her "an accident waiting to happen" and destroy her kart to prevent her from racing. Ralph witnesses the cruel bullying and sympathizes with Vanellope after the kids push her into the mud, then he charges out of hiding and scares the kids away. Vanellope, however, is far too upset and embarrassed to even thank Ralph, who reacts badly to her snappishness and calls Vanellope a thief for stealing his medal.

Vanellope's Kart

Vanellope explains that she will return the medal the moment she wins the race, but without a kart, both she and Ralph are out of luck. In anger, Ralph begins to wreck things, including a jawbreaker, something that is rock-solid. Witnessing Ralph's strength gives Vanellope an idea to have him break her into King Candy's kart factory in order to make a real kart so that she can really race. She convinces Ralph to help her by telling him that once she wins the race and the winner's prize, and all the coins along with it, she'll return the medal. Ralph reluctantly agrees and the duo sneak into the factory.

At the factory, they build the kart together and bond during the chaotic process, while Ralph is amazed when he discovers that he can create as well as destroy. Because of how Ralph has mishandled the decorating part, though, the cart appears very different from what it is supposed to be. Disappointed, Ralph thinks the kart is broken and a let-down at first, but Vanellope is more than happy to have a real kart in her possession. To finish their newfound "masterpiece", Vanellope and Ralph sign the kart. Just then, King Candy, alerted by the security about the break-in, arrives with his minions and attacks Ralph and Vanellope. The duo try to drive away, but Vanellope has no clue on how to drive a real kart. Ralph instead gets the kart going and steers it by hand. King Candy, Wynchel, and Duncan are in hot pursuit until Vanellope glitches herself and Ralph into Diet Cola Mountain, where she secretly resides. Inside, Vanellope shows Ralph her home and explains to him that because she is a glitch, she is bullied and tormented by everyone in the game. Not only that, she cannot leave the game and escape her tormentors because glitches lack the ability to do so. She figures that if she wins the race, the others would stop treating her harshly and make amends.

You're My Hero

With Ralph having experienced a similar story wanting to become a hero as opposed to the villain he is, he feels badly for the young girl, and the bad guy decides to build a track in the mountain so Vanellope can learn how to drive. Before long, Vanellope turns out to be a natural, and the duo begin to make way for the race, but not before Vanellope runs back into the mountain to get something. During her absence, King Candy shows up to return Ralph's medal. King Candy then tells Ralph that he must not let Vanellope race, because if she wins and becomes a character in the game, the players will notice her glitching and think the game is broken, causing the game to be considered out of order and unplugged, with Vanellope (as a glitch) being the only one unable to escape to Game Central Station, being left inside the game to die. King Candy then leaves Ralph with these heavy thoughts. When Vanellope returns, (to the point of telling him what to do,) she gives Ralph a medal she made just in case they didn't win, which reads "You're my hero". Though touched by Vanellope's gesture, Ralph reluctantly denies Vanellope's desire to head to the race, eventually stating "...You can't be a racer!" Confused at Ralph's change of heart, Vanellope asks why, but before he can explain further, Vanellope notices Ralph's Hero's Duty medal around the latter's neck, immediately becoming suspicious. In hopes of easing the confusion, Ralph begins to explain by claiming he was speaking to King Candy, but this leads to Vanellope immediately figuring the bad-guy ratted her out to the king in exchange for his original medal. The tension leads to mild, but growing argument, resulting in Vanellope making the decision to race without Ralph's help. Ralph, refusing to risk Vanellope's safety, denies once more and hooks the young glitch on a branch by her clothes and proceeds to destroy her kart. Vanellope tries to stop Ralph, but to no avail. With her kart destroyed, along with her dreams of winning the race and getting a better life, a heartbroken Vanellope says, "You really are a bad guy," and runs off in tears, and the downhearted Ralph returns to his game. At some point after Ralph's departure, King Candy captures Vanellope and imprisons her in his "fungeon".

King Candy's Villainy

Meanwhile, arriving at his own game, Ralph finds out that it's about to be unplugged due to his game-jumping and everyone else having abandoned it. In anticipation, Ralph throws a tantrum, during which he throws his medal at the glass of the cabinet which lets him see the side of Sugar Rush's cabinet, on which an image of Vanellope is featured prominently on it with her original white tracksuit and cart. Going back into Sugar Rush, Ralph interrogates King Candy's assistant, Sour Bill (who is sweeping the remains of Vanellope's kart), to find out why this is. He learns that she was a legitimate character in the game, but King Candy hacked the coding of the game to remove her and all memory of her previous status from it, causing her to become a glitch. And only by having her cross the finish line in an official race would the damage be undone and the original coding be restored. Ralph then takes the broken pieces of the kart and goes to the "fungeon" to rescue his friend Fix-It Felix, Jr., whom he begs to fix the kart, the only hope for Vanellope.

The Random Roster Race

Ralph breaks into Vanellope's cell and rolls in her kart now repaired, confessing to her that he has been an idiot, a real numbskull, a selfish diaper baby, and a stink brain. Vanellope, along with Ralph and Felix, rushes to the Random Roster Race, which has already begun. Ralph instructs her to just cross the finish line to be a real racer as she doesn't have to win, but Vanellope, declaring herself to be a real racer already, is intent on winning the race. Luckily, Vanellope's glitching gets her in second place, behind King Candy, who then tries to destroy Vanellope's kart by ramming into it. As King Candy attacks her, Vanellope begins to glitch nervously and uncontrollably, and direct contact with the king causes him to glitch as well. King Candy is then revealed to be Turbo, a character from an old racing game who was supposedly killed when his game was unplugged, but instead had escaped beforehand and took over Sugar Rush as King Candy. The evil racer reveals that he has reprogrammed the world and tries to murder Vanellope by ramming her into an oncoming stalagmite. Vanellope is able to escape her death by glitching out of King Candy's grasp, and makes her way for the finish line. Suddenly, a swarm of Cy-Bugs from the game Hero's Duty, which have been breeding in the catacombs underneath Sugar Rush, explode from the sides of the track.

The Final Battle

Vanellope's kart is caught in the explosion, which sends her falling off the track, prompting Ralph and Felix to rush to her rescue, but the Cy-Bugs destroy the finish line. Sergeant Calhoun, the lead character in Hero's Duty, orders the citizens of the game to evacuate by heading for the Game Central Station. Ralph also tries to evacuate Vanellope, but Vanellope, still being a glitch, is unable to escape. Despite this, she accepts her oncoming death and tells Ralph to go without her, but Ralph refuses to leave her to die and desperately thinks of a way to save her. Ralph then overhears Calhoun telling Felix that the bugs cannot be stopped without a beacon and quickly comes up with an idea to erupt Diet Cola Mountain, hoping to have the erupting hot cola act as a beacon. With Vanellope being protected by Felix and Calhoun, Ralph hurries to the top of Diet Cola Mountain and begins to smash the crater of mentos.

Unfortunately, he is soon attacked by Turbo (who had transformed into a Cy-Bug after being consumed by one). Vanellope is forced to watch as Turbo flies into the air with Ralph in his grasp. While this is occurring, a swarm of Cy-Bugs turn their attentions to killing Vanellope, Felix and Calhoun, and Turbo forces Ralph to watch the horrific scene from the air. Fortunately, Ralph is able to break free of Candy's grasp and plummets down to the mountain, sacrificing himself for Vanellope, and brings the whole crater down into the volcano with one forceful smash. When Vanellope sees Ralph plummeting, she glitches past the bugs, takes Crumbelina's (a racer in Sugar Rush) kart, and glitches into Diet Cola Mountain, where she is able to catch Ralph before he falls into the broiling hot cola. Together, they escape the volcano just as massive amounts of Mentos plunge into the hot cola, causing the mountain to erupt. The eruption of Diet Cola Mountain produces a beacon that attracts all the Cy-bugs, including Turbo, vaporizing them for good and saving Sugar Rush and the entire arcade.

Princess Vanellope of Sugar Rush

After Felix fixes the finish line, Ralph pushes Vanellope's kart with Vanellope inside, across the line, winning the race, and the game resets. Suddenly, Vanellope magically transforms into a princess, revealing her to be the rightful ruler of the kingdom. Taffyta, Candlehead, Rancis and the other racers, whose memories have been restored after being wiped during King Candy's reign, remember Vanellope's rank as a princess. Horrified remembering their mean attitudes toward her, they apologize to Vanellope, blame Taffyta, and beg for her forgiveness, but Vanellope decrees that everyone who has bullied her to be executed. This makes the racers react in horror and break down in tears about their impending death. However, Vanellope reveals that she is just kidding and accepts their apology. Ralph is surprised to see Vanellope as a princess and thinks that as her real self, but Vanellope, who glitches out of her princess attire to show her real self, explains that though the code may say she is a princess, she is really a racer with the greatest superpower: her glitching abilities that she decides to retain, as she feels thankful to have this power that has helped her and Ralph save Sugar Rush. However, she still accepts to lead the kingdom as "President Vanellope von Schweetz".

Arcade Finale

At this time, the arcade is about to open, and as Ralph prepares to leave Sugar Rush, Vanellope hugs him and offers Ralph a private wing in the castle with her where he will be happy and loved. Ralph warmly turns down the offer and explains that her friendship makes him happy enough and that he has a job to do: playing the bad guy in his own game. Ralph and Vanellope bid farewell, after a few rounds of humorous name calling between the two. After Ralph leaves with Felix and Calhoun, the other Sugar Rush racers surround Vanellope as they reconcile with her, befriend her and accept her back into the game.

During the finale, Vanellope, seen in her princess attire, serves as the maid of honor at the wedding of Felix and Calhoun. It is also shown that, due to her glitching abilities being used as her power-up, Vanellope has become a fan-favorite in Sugar Rush, winning the hearts of the gamers and finally living her lifelong dream. Many times, Vanellope is able to see Ralph in Niceland from her cabinet, and vise versa, causing the two to happily wave to each other often. This part of the game-play is said to be Ralph's favorite, as he enjoys watching Vanellope gain the love and admiration that she has always deserved. During the end credits of the film, Vanellope and Ralph, along with Felix and Calhoun, are shown constantly enjoying each other's company after gaming hours, having numerous game-jumping adventures together.

Friendship with the CMC

Trivia

  • According to Rich Moore and Sarah Silverman, Vanellope is 9 years old. However, according to Executive Producer John Lasseter, she is 12 years old.
    • However, it is hard to tell, as she could have been inspired by the Chibi style (see below).
    • Vanellope, along with the other Sugar Rush racers, are partly based on the Chibi style; a style used in anime that depicts characters as small, cute and, at most times, childish.
  • Vanellope is the only main character that never called Ralph by his title 'Wreck-it'.
  • Vanellope is also the only character who knew about Ralph's origins that didn't accuse him of going/believe he had gone Turbo.
  • Vanellope's hands only have four fingers, as opposed to Ralph and the other main characters' five.
  • Vanellope had no memory of being Princess of Sugar Rush because Turbo locked up the memories of all the racers, including hers.
  • Vanellope is the 3rd young Disney Heroine to be openly picked on, bullied and/or ridiculed. The others are Melody and Lilo.
  • Vanellope's name is actually a portmanteau of "vanilla", a type of dessert flavoring, and "Penelope", a Greek-based girl's name (which means weaver). According to Greek mythology, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus, who was constantly waiting for her husband to return from the battle of Troy and subsequently, his Odyssey. During Odysseus' Odyssey, many people thought that her real husband was dead and sent many suitors to try to marry her, but were ultimately driven out by Odysseus upon his return and proving them to be her real husband. Vanellope also sounds similar to "vanilla bean."
    • Also, her title, "von", is actually German for "of", which is often used by German nobility.
    • And plus her last name, "Schweetz", is a pun of the word "sweet" with a slightly German touch. (Schweetz). "Schweetz" may also be the way a young child would pronounce the word "sweets".
  • Upon close inspection, you will see that Vanellope's skirt is made of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers.
  • Although it is stated that Vanellope is unable to leave her game due to her being a glitch, at the end she can be seen attending Felix and Calhoun's wedding as Calhoun's maid-of-honor. In fact during the credits she can be seen traveling with Ralph, Felix and Calhoun to different video games, this is due to her reintegration after the game reset, leaving her "glitchy" (i.e. capable of teleporting within the game) but no longer a glitch.
  • When creating Vanellope, she was described as having "a hint of Sarah (Silverman), a hint of Cindy Lou Who, combined with this grubby little Pippi Longstocking moppet kid."
  • Despite having hazel eyes in the movie, posters, etc., Vanellope can clearly be seen with bright green eyes when she is shown on the side of the cabinet after Ralph throws away his medal.
  • Interestingly enough, Vanellope is never shown racing in her white tracksuit after she resets the game, nor is she seen racing in her original cart which was stolen by King Candy. It's implied that the kart that she and Ralph created was eventually incorporated into the game and her supposed original (King Candy's) was presumably destroyed when King Candy transformed into a Cy-Bug and was killed.
  • Vanellope is the only character in Sugar Rush who wears a hoodie, as the other characters wear jackets, and she is also the only one who does not wear a helmet or cap in her head, instead she wears red goggles.
  • Supposedly, when Vanellope refers to Ralph as "Gladys", she is actually referencing the main antagonist of the Portalseries, GLaDOS. However, if that is true, then she mispronounced the name, as it is most likely pronounced "Glah-Dos", and is actually an acronym (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System).
  • When Ralph sees Vanellope on the side of the game console, she isn't wearing her dress like the scene where Vanellope gets her code back and finally becomes an actual game character.
  • Vanellope's princess dress resembles the dresses worn by royal women during the 16th-17th century (Ex. Queen Elizabeth).
  • Originally, Vanellope was going to have grayish-green skin to show viewers that she was a glitch, but her animators eventually decided against it since they thought it would make her look too much like a zombie.
  • Also, Vanellope is the only character from Sugar Rush to see in person King Candy's real identity as Turbo; however, she does not seem to know anything about Turbo's origin much less recognize him, whereas the majority of the inhabitants of the video game world do, which can be seen in the cases of Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix. Thus, it is unknown if Vanellope saw Turbo before he snatched her throne and locked her memories, though another possible theory suggests that Turbo supposedly disappeared years before the Sugar Rush game console was first plugged in the arcade, explaining the girl's ignorance of the rogue racer.
  • Throughout the whole movie, Ralph usually refers to Vanellope as "kid" instead of her real name. He only refers to her as "Vanellope" twice in the whole film.
  • Some fans wonder why Vanellope isn't an official Disney Princess, this is due to her young age and fact she didn't want to be a princess and made herself president of Sugar Rush instead.
    • Vanellope is the second Disney heroine to be involved in political issues, the first being Aurora (Aurora is seen signing papers for her father in her sequel, and Vanellope is the "President" of Sugar Rush).
  • Vanellope is the third Disney heroine to be unaware that she was a princess. Aurora was the first and Rapunzel was the second.
  • Vanellope's princess dress vaguely resembles one of the dresses of young Charlotte La Bouff from The Princess and the Frog. Whether this was intentional or not, or if the dress was used as the basis for Vanellope's gown design, is unknown.
  • In her picture at the side of the game, she is shown to be an anime character.
  • In a reference to video games, Vanellope appears to be an allusion to Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as they are both imp-like princesses who both accompany the hero after being cursed by their villains, who are the false rulers of the place they came from. Near the end of their stories, both are revealed to be the true rulers of their respective realms, and remain within their kingdom to allow a new rule from them.
  • Vanellope is the second well-known Princess to be live in modern world after Princess Leia from Star Wars. Oddly, LucasFilm (where Stars Wars is from) was bought just 3 days before Wreck-It Ralph was released in theaters.
  • In 2013, there were 63 babies name Vanellope in the US, up from zero in previous years.
  • Vanellope's Latin-American Spanish voice actress is Maria Antonieta de las Nieves, best known for her portrayal of "La Chilindrina" in the highly popular TV show "El Chavo del Ocho".

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